Friday, January 11, 2013

Sash Dutchmen Done

Eventually the dutchman repairs were completed on the watchtower sash.  

Repair of utility hole in the South sash.  

Repairs to the North sash.

Grain match turned out pretty well.

Small repair on the bottom of a stile.

Meeting Rail repair.

Another meeting rail repair.

Sash done and ready for return trip to the lighthouse.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dutchman Heaven, Part 2

After the documentation period was over I started by cutting out the damaged sections.  Even though these sash are not from the initial building period of the lighthouse I used the best conservation measures for the repairs that I could.  Therefore I removed only what was damaged and saved as much original fabric as possible. 

South top sash, utility hole removed.

After the damaged areas were removed I faced an immediate problem- finding suitable material for the repairs.  As I mentioned earlier these sash are constructed from Western Red Cedar.  The cedar being harvested and milled today, although of good quality lacks some of the more desirable characteristics of old growth cedar.  Finding the good stuff became a real problem.  All my usual sources came up empty and stated that they rarely see old growth cedar in larger dimensions, occasionally there was some siding but that wasn't thick enough.  After some head scratching I pawed through a bunch of old, orphaned moldings that I had taken pity on many years ago.  I found two pieces that were just the right size.

Molding #1-19th c. extra large molding from base of a column.

Molding #2-Early 20th c. porch railing piece.  Top busted but the body was still good.

Layout of repair piece for the South top sash.

Ready for the fit.

Removal of North top sash damage to the stile.

Note the ferric degradation (black streaks along the grain of the wood) from a nail used as a glazing point.
More about ferric degradation and its remediation later.

Corresponding patch for the stile.

Removal of the North top sash damage to the arching top rail.

The extent of damage to the North top sash was extreme.  Two holes were drilled through the main joint that holds the stile and top rail together.  One peg was completely gone and the other had been cut off.  The only thing that kept this sash from falling apart in place was the fact that it had been caulked and painted shut ages ago.  So with a pretty much useless joint the repairs had to be solid and tight.  I chose to use a hammer-head key for the fix to the arching top rail.  I wanted to be sure that the patch didn't pull away over time.

Hammer-head key for the arch top repair.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dutchman Heaven, Part 1

The small sash at the watchtower level were replaced in 1916 after only 22 years of service.  The original frames remained in place.  The original configuration was 4 over 4 and then changed to a 1 over 1.  No record has surfaced as to explain the change.
These current sash have multiple problems but no rot.  The main issue being the inappropriate placement of utilities through the main members of the sash.
Before I started the repairs all the sash were documented and photographed and a paint sample was taken.  Then they were off to have all the paint removed.

South top sash with massive utility hole.

West bottom sash showing peg configuration.

Pitting of the glazing from ocean storms.

After I retrieved the sash from the paint removal company I could see right away why there was not rot.    All the sash are made from Western Red Cedar which is naturally decay and insect resistant.  The damage from the utility holes is very extensive.  Especially through the main joint of the north top sash.  

North top sash with some sort of filler.

And after the filler has been removed.

South top sash after paint was removed.